Saturday, June 26, 2010

Game 74: Hollywood Nights

A.J. Burnett and Hiroki Kuroda square off on Derek Jeter's birthday. Burnett has been amazingly shittastic of late while Kuroda has given up just two runs in his last 19 innings (over three starts).

Kuroda is in his third season in the MLB at age 35 and so far it has been his best one yet. He's got an ERA of 3.06 backed up with an FIP and xFIP in the mid-3.00s. He's a fastball and slider guy with the former coming in in the low 90's and the latter in the mid-80's. His heater has a bit of sink on it too, as his ground ball rate is at a strong 50%.

Recent performances would indicate that this match up is leaning heavily towards the Dodgers, but perhaps a trip to California will do Burnett good.

He'd headed west 'cause he felt that a change would do him good,
See some old friends, good for the soul,
She had been born with a face that would let her get her way,
He saw that face and he lost all control,
He had lost all control.

And those Hollywood nights,
In those Hollywood hills,
It was looking so right,
It was giving him chills,
In those big city nights,
In those high rolling hills,
Above all the lights,
With a passion that kills.
[Song Notes: There was one summer during college when my buddies and I would ironically listen to this tune when we were partying and, well, that's probably as much detail as I should go into about that summer.]



Game 73 Recap

[WE data via FanGraphs]

A few random thoughts:
  • The star of last night's game was the 55 mph breaking pitch that Vincente Padilla was throwing. He first broke it out on Curtis Granderson in the first inning and used it 9 or 10 more times, including back to back against Brett Gardner in the second and Robinson Cano in the sixth. I loved it. The announcers were talking about how dangerous of a pitch it was for him to throw but he used it relatively sparingly, threw it mostly for strikes and the Yankees never squared up on it.

  • Okay, if the star of the game has to be a person as opposed to a pitch, it was CC Sabathia. After giving up a manufactured run in the first, he shut the Dodgers down through the eighth innings and gave up just three hits and two walks from there on in while striking out eight. Those totals on the night were four, three and ten, respectively.

  • Padilla did something I'd never seen before in the third. With Granderson at the plate and Jeter on second, the ball just dropped out of his hand when he was on the rubber for a balk.

  • Speaking of dropping balls, Manny, playing his typically stellar left field dropped an easy fly ball off the bat of Robinson Cano in the 8th.

  • With the game tied in the fourth, Padilla hit Cano right on the hip with a fastball. When Vincente's spot come up in the 5th, Sabathia threw a first pitch heater at his knees which evidently hit him, but it wasn't too serious. Padilla stared out of the mound as he slowly made his way to first with CC gazing right back at him as if to say "Make like Johnny Walker and keep walking, motherfucker".

  • Mark Teixeira was due up in the top of the sixth and give the history between the two, it felt like there might be a plunkstravaganza about to go down, but Teix popped out to short. The next batter, however, was A-Rod and he ripped a no doubt shot to left field that put the Yankees ahead for good.

  • Mariano Rivera came out for the 9th inning and with the aid of some close called strikes on the lower lefthand side of the plate (from the batter's perspective) struck out the side. James Loney was the third K victim and he threw a hissy fit and was ejected from the game after it had already ended. Joe Torre and Don Mattingly started jawing at the ump from the dugout and it was a rather ugly ending to the game.

  • For them, anyway. Suckas!